Today I’m going to be sitting down with the 6th Edition of the Official Price Guide To Baseball Cards By Dr. James Beckett. The ’87 Beckett Book. I love this book. I used it constantly. It lists prices in 3 different conditions, but that never mattered because cards were always mint. Soft corners, gum stains, dinged edges, daily handling… No problem. Mint.
I’ve also got an Issue #66 September 1990 Beckett Baseball Card Monthly Magazine. Picked this up on eBay for $5. Exactly double the cover price. It was listed on eBay in “Mint” condition. I thought that was funny. But when it arrived, it really was in as close to mint condition as you are going to find. Someone’s prize Beckett collection. Well… At least it doubled in value over the years. This copy for me though is going to be used. Got it just for that purpose.
First off, It should be noted that the 1986 Topps Series is the most current Topps series in the 1987 book, even though its the “1987” edition. For purposes here, we will call it 3 years between publications.
So lets take a look at the book value of the 1986 Topps Baseball Cards in both of these releases. The listing in both printings is in the familiar style of listing the complete sets value first. In the 1987 book, the set lists for $17.50 in mint condition. In the 1990 magazine, it comes in at $42.00 on the highend to $28.00 on the low. The set easily doubled its book value in just those 3 years.
An interesting thing to note is that in the ’87 Book, there are only 4 cards for the ’86 Topps set that book at $1.00 or more. There is a Dwight Gooden for $1.50 mint, and a Vince Coleman at $1.25. Dwight Gooden and Pete Rose wax box bottom cards which apparently are considered at least a modestly valid card of the day have values of about a buck.
Glancing down the 1990 Beckett magazine, there are a number that pop out well into the couple dollar range. Going straight down the page, they are given a high end book value as follows:
Pete Rose: $1.00
Eric Davis: 2.50
Len Dykstra: 3.00
Darryl Strawberry: 1.25
Nolan Ryan: 1.25
Oral Hershiser: 1.00
Don Mattingly: 3.00
Dwight Gooden: 1.75
Kirby Puckett: 3.00
Teddy Higuera: 1.00
Vince Coleman: 1.75
Cecil Fielder: 4.00
Glenn Davis: 3.50
Wade Boggs: 2.00
Roger Clemens: 2.50
Ryan Sandberg: 1.25
Cecil Fielder and Glenn Davis are the cards to have from this set in 1990 after only 3 years. And with that lot of current stars cards at the time booking at that value, it should be remembered that the 1986 Topps set maybe did have its day. It wasn’t in ’86. And it’s not today. But in 1990 at least, it had some respect, and some good early cards of stars that had gotten big by the time 1990 came around.
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